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Great Moments in farkakte player valuation: Joe Mauer edition

Mar 18, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

joe mauer mvp.jpgMike Silva at NY Baseball Digest:

The Twins could get a king’s ransom from the Yankees for Mauer.
Think Hughes, Joba, and Montero as cornerstones of the package. If they
are concerned about development timeline of Montero, then perhaps you
could add Posada to the deal since he only has a year left on his
contract. If the Red Sox come calling then the package could get even
better.

I love Joe Mauer. You love Joe Mauer. We all love Joe Mauer. But anyone who thinks that the bidding for Joe Mauer starts with Hughes, Joba and Montero — and quickly grows to include Jorge Posada and more if the negotiations bog down — has probably suffered serious head trauma in the past 48 hours.  It’s ridiculous to even be playing the “what would it take to get Mauer” game right now, but if you’re going to play it, at least do so sensibly. The guy has a season left on his deal, will take hundreds of millions of dollars to lock up, and he’s a catcher.  For that you give away every valuable young player you have. For starters?!

But the best part of the piece is the line in which Silva says “Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.”  Like it’s some freakin’ gift.  I’ll leave the dismantling of that statement to Jason, who is more conscious of, and more opposed to, the New York exceptionalism that has sprung up these past few years:

You know who deserves Joe Mauer?  The fine people of Minnesota.

If you ever want to tear your hear out at ridiculous Yankee commentary, go read Jason’s stuff for a reminder that even Yankees fans can be sane.

  1. Larry - Mar 18, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    A guy named Calcaterra uses the word “farkakte” in a headline, and on top of that, uses it correctly! A truly new day for journalism!
    Yeah, Mauer is great, and as a Red Sox fan I would love to have him on our team, but unless the guy comes with a long term contract attached to him, he’s not worth trading a couple of journeyman infielders and a no-name middle reliever. OK, that and my recipe for chicken soup.
    It’s really hard to get your head around a player that costs your team THAT much money. I know that VORP is a useful tool, but I wonder if there’s a metric that measures a player’s wins versus salary. I know there are always bargains out there (rookies and league minimum guys) who put up outrageous numbers versus what they’re paid, and there are busts who cost a lot of coin but produce nothing of value, but I wonder if there is a way to measure how much better a guy like Victor Martinez (I dunno, $10 mil) is than Mauer (let’s say $25 mil).
    Value over OverPriced Player?

  2. Ice Berg - Mar 18, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Too long; didn’t read.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 18, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    Few things make me smile more than non-Jews from the Midwest using Yiddish properly.
    Thanks for the kind words, buddy.
    Captcha: versus that

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Mar 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Glad I could please with the “farkakte.” Full disclosure: My father is Jewish, and though he converted to Catholicism to marry my mom and I was raised basically nothin’, I grew up around a Jewish extended family. I can drop a little Yiddish. I love corned beef and pastrami. I can’t really pass with that crowd, but I can blend in if no one is watching too closely.

  5. Real Vikings fans wouldn't cheer for Favre - Mar 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Joe Mauer is most valuable to the Minnesota Twins. With this new stadium, they have no choice but to pay Mauer and keep a competitive team around him or the franchise will be in trouble.

  6. Bill Baer - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    I know that VORP is a useful tool, but I wonder if there’s a metric that measures a player’s wins versus salary.
    The value of a win is about $4M. According to FanGraphs, he was been worth $112.6M and 27.6 Wins Above Replacement. In that time, he’s only been paid $11M, so he’s given the Twins roughly $100M over what they paid him.
    Not sure if that’s exactly what you’re looking for but I think it answers your question.

  7. Matt M - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Check out what Fangraphs.com does with WAR. Too many people quote it as gospel, but it gives you an idea of relative value based on comparing a player against what a “replacement player” would cost.

  8. Mike Silva - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Craig
    Thanks for the link up. The piece was more “thinking out loud” and surprisingly enough there are some Twins fans that contacted that feel the package I proposed is not good enough!
    With Joba profiling as a reliever, Hughes unproven (Yanks do have Zach McAllister) and Montero without a position I thought it would be worth the risk if Minny was inclined to call the Yanks.
    Seattle asked for Joba or Hughes for Washburn so no deal gets done without at least one of the kids.
    Bigger question, why do fans across the league undervalue the Yanks kids? Probably anti NY bias.
    As for the “deserves NY” comment, I think a guy like Mauer, as good as he is, could be so marketable here.
    For the record, I agree with Jason – it would be a shame for Minny fans to lose him, but could they justify 20% of their payroll to one player?

  9. JE - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    The more commonly way to spell the word phonetically is “facacta.” Not that it matters all that much, of course. As that great philosopher Ali G once reasoned, “You say tomato, I say potato.”

  10. JE - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    The more common way to spell the word phonetically is “facacta.” Not that it matters all that much, of course. As that great philosopher Ali G once reasoned, “You say tomato, I say potato.”

  11. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    That’s a pretty ridiculous stat, Bill. (I gotta check where Lincecum is now!)

  12. Shamik - Mar 18, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Really? You don’t trade two middling starters, a prospect, and an ancient catcher for one of the best in the game? Come on, these are the Yankees we’re talking about. They definitely could do that and be just fine.

  13. AJ Gallo - Mar 18, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I’m a diehard Yankees fan all my life, okay? But really, why is it that these major superstars in baseball are somehow, and sooner or later, always talked about as going to the Yankees as a free agent or in a trade. First of all, it’s way out of line to think that every major superstar in baseball should be on the Yankees. This is getting way of hand. I’m tired of seeing all of these players linked to the Yanks all the time. Secondly, Mauer belongs on the Twins. He’s a Minnesota Twin. There is no inherent right in baseball that every star player in baseball will, or should, wind up with the Yankees. I realize a lot of times these agents like to get the notion put out there that the Yankees are somehow involved and/or interested in their player so they can drive up the price they want from their home team. In fairness, that’s not the Yankees fault. But please stop with the speculation about who the Yanks would give up to get Mauer. The Twins would deservedly get burned at the stake if they trade Mauer to anyone. And it’s not like the Twins don’t have the money. So just pay the guy already.

  14. Big Harold - Mar 18, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    The best way to put an end to all the wild speculation is for the Twins to sign him. If he doesn’t sign a long term deal with the Twins, .. it the Twins fault.
    I think the Twins will sign him eventually, I just wish they get it done already.

  15. William Munny - Mar 18, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.

  16. mc - Mar 19, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    The speculation here in Minny is it’s not the dollars or years that’s the hold-up but the details. And by details, Mauer want’s some form of competitive out clause. If the Twins aren’t very competitive he may want out after 4-5 years… He’ll still only be 31 and if healthy could land a big deal with a competitive club.
    That’s the sense a lot of people are getting.

  17. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Mar 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    so much wrong here:

    With Joba profiling as a reliever

    Yeah um no, the media thinks this and maybe the fans. But considering what he did through August of last year, this statement doesn’t make sense.

    Hughes unproven

    He’s 23, pitched well in the bullpen last year and will probably be put there again this year retarding his growth as a SP. But again, he’s 23.

    and Montero without a position I thought it would be worth the risk if Minny was inclined to call the Yanks.

    He has a position, he’s a catcher. If he can’t catch, he can DH. This doesn’t limit his value to other teams who have open DH spots, it limits his value to the Yankees. There’s a difference.

    Seattle asked for Joba or Hughes for Washburn so no deal gets done without at least one of the kids.

    And i’m sure Cashman either hung up, laughed in Zack J’s face, or did both. A flyball pitcher in a good pitching ballpark, with one of the best defensive outfields in baseball? There’s a reason he pitched horribly in Det after the trade, and it wasn’t because of his knee.

  18. JudyJ - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Always is funny when a story, even a conjecture, about a fantasy Yankee acquisition brings out the Boston fans – as they jump on the bandwagon. Fact is that this is just a conjecture – and of course the Yankees have a few trading chips of significant value to offer. Joe Mauer will most likely stay in Minny.

  19. Trevor B - Mar 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    AJ Gallo might be my favorite Yankee fan.
    Mauer wants to stay in MN but he doesn’t want to be the Adrian Gonzalez on MN either. This is why we’re fighting more and more to get competitive. I’m sure MN is one new closer and 3rd basemen away from signing Mauer. We accomplish this, fire Nick Punto and we’re set. I wish they’d entertain the idea of possibly bringing Cuddyer back to the IF to maybe take 3rd and let Kubel, Delmon and Span rule the OF. Could possibly entertain the idea of using Hardy more as a UTIL guy. There are a lot of possibilities here to stay competitive so Mauer wants to stay.

  20. Andrew - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    As a Twins fan, I actually wouldn’t mind a trade like that, though it would still hurt to see him go.
    As far as what Mauer is worth to the Twins, WAR and any of the on-field metrics don’t really measure what Mauer is worth to the franchise. Ultimately, it’s a business, and on-field production is only one factor (albeit a big one) in the equation.
    That said, depending on how much his power regresses, I consider him the 2nd best player in the majors.

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